Advancing Construction Safety

Hard hat with construction cranes in background

Research opportunities in construction safety abound. Although the construction industry is the United States’ second largest gross domestic producer, it consistently accounts for five times the average rate of injuries and illnesses of all other industries combined. While injury rates have declined dramatically in the past couple of decades, the construction industry still suffers from a large number of fatalities and disabling injuries every year.

The SARMAD research group believes that universities have the responsibility to enhance injury prevention through rigorous research and the dissemination of transformational practices. Thanks to the exceptional background and research experience of SARMAD members, we are in a unique position to conduct high quality and original research that has the potential to improve the wellbeing of millions of Americans.

Improving Risk Management and Decision Making

Man standing on highway that diverges

Technical and managerial functions in the construction industry rely on making difficult decisions that impact projects’ cost, schedules, quality, safety, and sustainability. Four common sources of difficulties in such decision making involve the complexity of the decision context, the inherent uncertainty in the situation, the overlap of multiple contracting objectives, and the synthesis of contradicting perspectives.

To provide managers with a systematic approach to navigating the hard decisions they face, SARMAD fosters data-driven decision making across time (e.g., the lifecycle of project), across stakeholders (e.g., owner, architect, contractor, subcontractor, end-user), and across networks (e.g., inter-organizational and intra-organizational). By enabling stakeholders to stay informed about the complexities and uncertainties at play in a decision context, this research agenda helps stakeholders make better decisions based on scientific outcomes and empirical data.